Saturday, December 01, 2018

Published 3x

My erotic stories "Goth Girl," "Mardi Gras Memories," and "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" were released last month as audiobooks. All previously appeared in print and were released in audio format by House of Erotica/Andrews UK Limited.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Eighteen

I completed and submitted my eighteenth short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 2,600-word mystery I started on June 19.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Published: "Dollface"

My dark crime story "Dollface" appears today at Story and Grit. Read it here.

47

I received my 47th acceptance of the year this morning, this for a historical mystery co-authored with Sandra Murphy.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Seventeen

I finished and submitted my seventeenth story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 2,800-word bit of crime fiction written by invitation.

Sixteen

I completed and submitted my sixteenth story of the year today. This one's a 3,000-word bit of crime fiction I started a few days ago.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Monday, October 08, 2018

Fifteen

I completed and submitted my fifteenth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 2,200-word sf/mystery.

Fourteen

I finished and submitted my fourteenth short story of the year this evening. This one's a 6,000-word historical mystery I wrote with a collaborator.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Published 2x: "Pink Vibrator" and "Woman's Best Friend"


Last week, House of Erotica released two of my erotic short stories as audio books: "Pink Vibrator" and "Woman's Best Friend."

Sunday, September 16, 2018

46

I received my 46th acceptance of the year this weekend, this time for a mystery.

Friday, September 14, 2018

45

I just received my 45th acceptance of the year, this time for a short Christmas romance.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Published: "Mr. Sugarman Visits the Bookmobile"

My story "Mr. Sugarman Visits the Bookmobile" appears in the just-released anthology Shhhh...Murder!, edited by Andrew MacRae and released by Darkhouse Books. Order it here.

44

I received my 44th acceptance of the year this afternoon, this time for a bit of crime fiction.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

43

I received my 43rd acceptance of the year this afternoon, this time for a bit of crime fiction.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

35-42

I received eight acceptances this morning, my 35th through 42nd acceptances of the year. Three were for original stories and five were for reprints.

Monday, August 27, 2018

34

I received my 334th acceptance this morning, this time for a bit of noir crime fiction.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Published 2x: "Auto Erotic" and "Closing Cases"


"Auto Erotic" and "Closing Cases," a pair of erotic short stories, were released on audio today by House of Erotica.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

33

I received my 33rd acceptance of the year this evening, this time for a fantasy short story.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Published...almost: "Backlit"

My story "Backlit" appears in Blood Work (Down & Out Books), which officially releases later this month.

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32

Email today brought word of seven acceptances. One is for a new bit of crime fiction, the other six are for audio/reprint rights to stories first published long ago.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Published

I just learned that my story "West Texas Winter" was published in March. Neither the editor nor the publisher of the anthology Cowboy Up notified me of its publication (another contributor did), and payment, due within 90 days of publication is now several weeks past due.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Thirteen

I completed and submitted my thirteenth story of the year this evening. This one's a 3,000-word mystery I started May 1.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Published 2x: "Good Girls Don't" and "Decision"

My story "Good Girls Don't" appears in the current Pulp Modern and my story "Decision" appears in the Summer 2018 Flash Bang Mysteries.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Twelve

I completed and submitted by twelfth short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 2,300-word bit of crime fiction I started writing on November 5, 2017.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Reviewed

In "Short & Sweet," his column in the Summer 2018 issue of Mystery Scene, Ben Boulden reviews the March/April issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. Though he provides in-depth discussions of other stories in the issue, he ends with: "There are excellent contributions from R.T. Lawton, Michael Bracken, and Robert Lopresti." If our stories are going to be summed up in one word, I think R.T., Robert, and I will all agree that "excellent" is exactly the right word.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

25

I received my 25th acceptance of the year this afternoon, this for a private eye story.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

24

I received my 24th acceptance of the year this evening, this time for a bit of noirish crime fiction.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Eleven

I completed and submitted my eleventh short story of the year this evening. This one's a 4,600-word noirish Christmas story I started on February 21.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Interviewed

Richard Krauss interviewed me for the June 2018 issue of The Digest Enthusiast. The wide-ranging interview fills 17 pages, reveals my pseudonyms, and touches on work written in a variety of genres. And, yes, that's me on the cover.

Published: "Too Close to School"

My romance "Too Close to School" is the lead story in A Wink and a Smile, now available from Smoking Pen Press.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Ten

I completed and submitted my tenth short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 2,100-word bit of crime fiction I began on January 23.

Though my acceptances are on track for the year, my production is not. I will need to kick my writing into high gear if I hope to complete 52 stories by year-end.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

23

I received my 23rd acceptance of the year this morning, this time for a PI story.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

19, 20, 21, 22

I woke this morning for find four acceptances awaiting me, my 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd acceptances of the year, all for erotic fiction.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

18

I received my 18th acceptance of the year this afternoon, this time for a bit of crime fiction.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

16, 17

I received my 16th and 17th acceptances of the year this afternoon, these for an erotic spy story and an erotic paranormal story.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Reviewed: "My Sister's Husband"

Michael R. Brown reviewed Pulp Adventures #27 at ThePulp.Net. Here's what he had to say about my story:
“My Sister’s Husband” by Michael Bracken is a strange little romance tale.
Read his review of the entire magazine here.

15

I woke this morning to find my 15th acceptance of the year waiting in my in-box. This is for yet another bit of crime fiction.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

14

I received my 14th acceptance of the year this morning, this time for a bit of crime fiction.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

13

I received my 13th acceptance on Friday, but am only now recording it. It's a bit of crime fiction originally submitted to a magazine, but Friday the editor asked if he could instead use it in an anthology he's putting together. Of course, I said he could.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

10, 11, 12

I received my 10th, 11th, and 12th acceptances of the year this afternoon, all for short crime fiction.

Unacceptance

Two days ago I received my first unacceptance of the year. An anthology editor who accepted one of my stories in 2016 announced that the project is dead. Because it was a themed anthology, that means several good stories with the same theme will likely be hitting the slush piles of publications in the appropriate genre.

I wonder, at times like this, if it is better to resubmit immediately to try to beat the rush or to wait several months until the rush has passed before submitting.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Published: "Itsy Bitsy Spider"

"Itsy Bitsy Spider," a new story featuring Waco, Texas-based private eye Morris Ronald "Moe Ron" Boyette, was published today at Tough. Read it here.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Reviewed: "Harlot Road"

Kevin P Hallett reviewed Weirdbook #38 at Tangent and had this to say about my story, "Harlot Road":
A land ruled by a despotic king is the setting for this short fantasy. An experienced prostitute hates the King’s government and his brutal soldiers. She uses her wits to keep a low profile and stay out of their way. 
Then one day she helps a thief accused of stealing the King’s jewels and in the process becomes embroiled in a possible revolution. She finds herself walking a fine line between protecting what is dear to her and her increasing frustrations with the King’s administration.
At times the prose was deliberate, but the overall intrigue and danger kept the story engaging.
Read the entire review to learn what he thought of the other stories.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Nine

I completed and submitted a 500-word bit of flash noir this evening. I wrote the first half on January 25, and the last half today.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Published: "Harlot Road"

"Harlot Road," a story perhaps best described as an alternate history mystery, appears in Weirdbook #38.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

9

I received my 9th acceptance of the year this afternoon, this time for a hardboiled bit of crime fiction.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

8

I received my 8th acceptance of the year this afternoon. This one's for a private eye story. The editor doesn't like the title, so I've spent the afternoon trying to come up with something better. So far: Nothing.

Monday, March 26, 2018

7

I received my 7th acceptance of the year this evening, this one for a mystery submitted to an open-call anthology.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Reviewed: "The Mourning Man"

On her blog, Catherine Dilts reviews four stories from the March/April Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine and has this to say about my story "The Mourning Man":
The story Mourning Man by Michael Bracken is a touching tale wrapped up in a dangerous game. Cab driver Johnny Devlin is pressured into driving for a robbery when he can't pay a loan shark back for the money he borrowed to pay for his wife's funeral. You can read about the author's inspiration for this story here.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

6

I received my 6th acceptance of the year this afternoon, this for an essay.

Monday, March 05, 2018

5

I received my 5th acceptance of the year this afternoon. This is for a a noir story I started on February 20, finished and submitted on March 2, and revised to editor specifications on March 3.

Friday, March 02, 2018

Eight

I finished and submitted my eighth short story of the year this evening, an 1,800-word noir crime story.  I started the story on February 20, actually finished it a few days ago, but hadn't added it to the count until now because I had to find an appropriate market.

Seven

I finished and submitted my seventh short story of the year this evening, a 2,200-word bit of noir I started February 24.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Reviewed: "Dixie Quickies"

In "Short & Sweet," his column in the just-arrived Winter issue of Mystery Scene Magazine, Ben Boulden reviews the first issue of Wildside Press's Black Cat Mystery Magazine, devoting two paragraphs to the issue, and singling out two stories for closer attention, including my "Dixie Quickies," which he calls "a thriller dressed as a straight crime story where a dead cartel gangster, a motel clerk, and a motel room maid, are all caught in the same gravitational pull."

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Six

I completed and submitted my sixth shorty story of the year this evening. This one's a bit of crime fiction I started November 20, 2017.

Published: "My Stripper Past" and "The Mourning Man"



My story "My Stripper Past" appears in Pulp Adventures #28, and my story "The Mourning Man" appears in the March/April Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

Five

I finished and submitted my fifth short story of the year this afternoon. This one's a 5,600-word private eye story I started January 16.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Published: "Poster Child"

Today I write about all the mystery publications that have come and mostly gone, and about how publication in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine ties short story writers to the genre's history in a way publication in no other magazine does, in my guest post, "Poster Child," at Something Is Going to Happen: https://somethingisgoingtohappen.net/2018/02/14/poster-child-by-michael-bracken/

Note: I also now blog as one of the SleuthSayers. My posts appear every third Tuesday at SleuthSayers.org.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

4

I received my 4th acceptance of the year this afternoon. This one's for an essay.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Friday, February 02, 2018

3

I received my 3rd acceptance of the year last evening, this time for a reprint.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2

I received my 2nd acceptance of the year yesterday, this one for a romance.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Four

I wrote and submitted my fourth short story of the year today. This one's a 250-word dark-crime/horror flash.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

1

I received my first acceptance of the year, this for a short romance. My two previous appearances in this publication were short pieces of humor published in 1980 and 1982.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Three

I finished and submitted my third short story of the year this morning. This one's a 5,000-word bit of crime fiction I started October 1, 2017, and it's the third (and final story) I found in nearly complete form when I cleaned off my desk this past weekend.

Lesson learned: Don't let things pile up!

Two

I completed and submitted my second short story of the year this morning. This one's a 3,700-word bit of crime fiction I started writing May 4, 2017, and it's the second one I found on my desk this past weekend that only needed a good proofread before being ready for submission.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

2017 in review

37 acceptances (vs. 45 in 2016).

40 rejections (vs. 35 in 2016).

33 original short stories published and two reprinted (vs. 40 in 2016), and no articles/essays published (vs. 4 in 2016). (Even so, I did write some guest blog posts and became a regular contributor to SleuthSayers.org.)

I completed 32 short stories (vs. 56 in 2016).

I completed (to final draft) 130,600 words of short fiction (vs. 169,430 in 2016).

That's an average story length of 4,081 words (vs. an average of 3,026); the shortest story was 1,100 words; the longest was 6,700 words.

I completed and submitted an average of .62 short stories each week (vs. an average of 1.08 each week in 2016).

(I only track completed short fiction word counts, not words written for incomplete projects, nor words written for other forms of writing.)

Observations:

1) The decreased number of completed stories and the increase in the average length of my stories is partially attributable my not writing any stories intended for Woman's World, a market I have never cracked. 

2) Two magazines, responsible between them for 21 of 2017's published stories, ceased operation mid-year. This negatively impacted the number of acceptances and the number of published stories, and it put a crimp in my productivity.

3) Some publications do not send rejections. Non-responses are not included in the rejection count.

2018 Goals

For the past several years, my annual goals have been:

1) To complete and submit an average of at least one short story each week.

2) To receive an average of at least one acceptance each week. (Reprints and non-fiction pieces count for this goal.)

3) To continue to have one or more short stories published each and every month, as I have for several years now.

Given that I've lost two of my primary markets, these goals may no longer be realistic. So, my primary goal this year is to rebuild and re-establish myself as I move into new markets and/or new genres.

Monday, January 01, 2018

One

I completed my first short story of the year this afternoon. This is a 1,200-word horror story I found in nearly complete form when I was cleaning off my desk yesterday. I began work on it March 27, 2017, and all it needed was a final proofread. So, it's finished, but I don't yet know where to send it.